x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Al Jazeera Sport has annouced that it is rebranding itself as beIN Sports – but viewers are still waiting for all English Premier League football matches to be screened again

ABU DHABI // Al Jazeera Sport has changed its name to beIN Sports – but not its policy on broadcasting live Barclays Premier League football with a 3pm Saturday kick-off in England.

The station angered fans in November when it stopped showing most 3pm matches live on Saturdays in what it said was an attempt to thwart piracy of its broadcasts in other countries.

Only one match was broadcast live at 3pm, with the rest being shown hours later, often without English commentary.

There was a relaxation on Boxing Day and New Year’s Day, when several matches with 3pm kick-offs were broadcast live. However, the company has still not said when – or if – full live Saturday broadcasts will resume.

Meanwhile subscribers are still paying up to Dh52.60 a month for the full sports package, and the new beIN Sports website continues to boast that the channel shows every Premier League match “live and exclusive in HD”.

The channel broadcasts in the Middle East and North Africa, France, USA, Indonesia, Hong Kong and the Philippines.

As well as the English Premier League, beIN Sports has the rights to broadcast Primera Liga football from Spain, Six Nations rugby, the Winter Olympics and the 2014 Fifa World Cup in Brazil.

ksinclair@thenational.ae